In Japan, literature by female authors is, generally, considered “women’s literature,” not “literature.” There is a distinction between female and male accomplishments, nothing unfamiliar, an affect of the patriarchal society. Books which receive literary awards, recognition and international acclaim do not often reach the description of ‘literature’ if written by a woman, regardless of the characters, ability and style, or social commentary, unless a well-established man in the literary world vouches for its inclusion. Banana Yoshimoto is an excellent example of a “women’s literature” author who, in Kitchen and Moonlight Shadows, does not attempt to write about women’s issues but does so naturally, through honesty.
I need to do something meaningful but nothing comes from my fingertips
Today David and I had a nifty little dialogue on our career/professional goals. We talk about this stuff all the time, but usually it’s just a simple statement or idea. A discussion was nice.
So now my thoughts are dwelling quite heavily on my goals. I really want to work for the next two years, and work hard. I think once my birth certificate returns to me, I’m going to completely revamp my approach to attaining a job beyond Events Assistant.
The following are my thoughts.
- After graduation, I think I want to go in a direction of a Master’s in English with an emphasis in Asian Languages & Literatures, or Asian cultural studies. I need to meet with my advisor soon to develop my second competence.
- Teaching is becoming more important to me by the day. I’m so excited.
- I think I need to explore art a little bit more.
- Writing a book suddenly seems possible. And fun.
- I can create my own work environment wherever I go - even in rural Arizona. There’s no reason i can’t develop a library of resources and research, of diaries, histories, iconic texts, poetry… I can be my own Kumora Memorial Library, and save up money to see the world.
- LIFE. IS. POSSIBLE.
We were sleeping outside, again; leaving wasn’t an option, even after three weeks.
We made a kind of attic in the trees, ten feet up. No birds or squirrels came near us. The bats weren’t afraid, though.
We liked it outside, keeping each other company; because the wild is silent, the house is quiet, and your cells as simply too loud.
Don’t carry me inside. I’ll die in there.
I wish there was a way to tell someone you will always hold them, love them, wait on them. To say that you would cross the sea for them, give up oxygen. I wish the word “love” was taboo - only to be used when the emotion is unshakable, irrevocable, rooted.
I’m finding my identity in words.
It’s nothing new for me to tell people that I love books, film, poetry, artistic expression, etc. I just have that “right brained” approach to life that has become something of a literary ideology. Living on my own the last eight weeks, I’ve come to understand that this mindset is comprehensive. It’s affecting how I view politics, people, school, socialization, religion, love.
Everything revolves around words. I feel best with a book in my hand, or while learning Japanese. I feel productive, alive, conscious. It’s like unless whatever I’m doing is emotional, cultural, or can bring tears to my eyes, it’s worthless.
This has bled into my love life, especially. My love is becoming solid, untouchable. “She burned for me, and no other man came near her flame.” My love for Christ is becoming a foundation. My love for my aspirations is forming a new avenue of promise.
I’m waking up earlier, walking slowly, spending more time in solitary silence. Words are a lighthouse and life is the raging sea.
Matt gave me an infamous book to read; copies are upwards of $100. The collected poems, with analysis, or Omar Khayyam. It’s a lovely background to Kafka on the Shore, which I’m currently reading; a book on conversations with cats, fish falling from the sky, and ghosts of our broken hearts.
I feel at home.
I feel loneliest when I dust off photo frames.
It’s Sunday. She sits with an old astronomy book from the 1970’s. Her hair is getting caught in her eyelashes, the wind threating to take the sunhat right off her head. Just a short walk from their home, the woman and the man and the orange tabby cat are atop a grassy hill, each lost in their thoughts.
Beside her an orange tabby cat chases dragonflies through the tall grasses. He stumbles and rolls about, turning back to the woman every now and then with bright blue eyes. Does she notice? Thinks the cat. When this crosses his mind the woman timely raises her head to smile at the orange tabby cat.
The woman and the man and the orange tabby cat are rustled by the wind.
The woman and the man and the orange tabby cat are quiet.
“What are you searching for?” says the man to the woman, finally speaking, but without looking at her. He stands a few feet away, in a dark suit, hot in the sun.
“Sagittarius,” says the woman, trying to keep the pages steady in the wind.
“Sundown isn’t for another hour, and even then it won’t be dark for some time,” says the man. She says nothing in return. She’s an idiot, he thinks, then immediately regrets the private comment. The man looks out over the trees, streets, and homes. Everything is close by, but if he raises his hand he can’t see anything anymore.
Eventually the woman sets aside her book in favor of picking a pink flower. She twirls it in her fingers, musing to herself. The orange tabby cat quickly takes notice, aching for playtime with the woman. He bats at the flower. She laughs.
They go home.
Late in the night the man walks back to the grassy hill, searching for constellations. All he can draw shapes of are daggers.